Northumberland National Park unveils its vision for the future

Northumberland National Park Authority chairman, Coun Glen Sanderson, and Tony Gates, chief executive (centre), with members of the Northumberland National Park Management Plan Partnership. Picture by Simon Williams

Northumberland National Park Authority chairman, Coun Glen Sanderson, and Tony Gates, chief executive (centre), with members of the Northumberland National Park Management Plan Partnership. Picture by Simon Williams

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Apprenticeships, support for the rural economy, health and learning are the cornerstones of a five-year strategy unveiled by Northumberland National Park Authority.

The Northumberland National Park Management Plan 2016-2021 has been launched following an extensive consultation with stakeholders.

It sets out the priorities, long-term vision and actions for managing the National Park to ensure its objective to secure a sustainable and prosperous future for the landscape and its communities are being met.

The document, was launched at The Cheviot Centre in Wooler, the northern gateway to the Park, by the authority;s chairman, Counc Glen Sanderson, and chief executive Tony Gates.

Coun Sanderson said: “This is the single most important document for the whole Park and sets out our ambitions for how the National Park will be looked after over the next five years.

“It guides the focus of the work that we will do to secure a prosperous future for the National Park and the people that live, work and visit this special place.

“The new plan reflects the views and aspirations of the local communities, young people, farmers, land managers, business owners, volunteers and visitors who make Northumberland National Park the unique natural asset that it is.

“This plan is a statement of our intent and its success depends on everyone who cares about the National Park helping to secure and enhance its future. We want to ensure that it is a place to be proud of for generations to come.

“On behalf of the Management Plan Partnership, I would like to thank all those individuals and organisations that have contributed to the development of this plan.”

The new management plan builds on the original plan which was launched in 2010. It generated a positive response from consultees with the majority in support of the Authority’s approach to the review process.

Mr Gates said: “Our new plan is for the whole Park and aims to build on the success we’ve had in developing a sustainable model by promoting ways of living and working that allow people to enjoy life, businesses to prosper and communities to thrive, while protecting and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the landscape.

“We also want to create lots of new opportunities for people in the region and beyond to visit and enjoy the special qualities of the National Park.

“Indeed, a major purpose of The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre is to open up the landscapes of the Park and surrounding areas to encourage more visits from under-represented groups and residents of urban areas. It’s an ambitious, ground-breaking project and the largest ever undertaken by a National Park in the UK.”

You can read the full Northumberland National Park Management Plan 2016-2021 at www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/managementplan